breakout 8 writers prize - the authors guild

Apply now for a chance to be one of this year's Breakout 8 writers and

win a year-long mentorship with Rachel Lyon!

We're excited to announce that the application period is open for The Breakout 8 Prize, now in its second year. In partnership with Epiphany, the Authors Guild Foundation launched the prize in 2017 to honor and support outstanding emerging literary voices and bring visibility to future authors. This year, eight student writers will receive:

  • A manuscript review and year-long mentorship
  • Publication in Epiphany's Breakout 8 special issue
  • A one-year membership to the Authors Guild
  • A one-year subscription to Epiphany
  • A $250 cash prize, and more...

Entries must be received by July 15, 2019.

The Authors Guild and Epiphany a Literary Journal announce an open submissions call for the second annual Breakout 8 Writers Prize, sponsored by the Authors Guild
Judged by Rumaan Alam, Rachel Lyon, and Robin Beth Schaer.

Purpose: To honor and support outstanding emerging literary voices among student writers, bringing visibility to the writers of our future.

Prize: Eight writers will receive publication in Epiphany’s “Breakout 8” special issue; a $250 cash prize; a year-long mentorship with novelist Rachel Lyon; a complimentary one-year student membership to the Authors Guild, including free access to seminars, webinars, and the writers’ resource library; a spotlight on the Epiphany website and on the Authors Guild website; a one-year subscription to Epiphany; and a short manuscript review.

Eligibility: Candidates must be enrolled in an accredited university at least part-time for the academic year fall 2018–spring 2019. The prize is open to both graduate and undergraduate students. Students need not be enrolled in MFA programs or creative writing programs.

Submission: Applications will be submitted by individual writers. Interested applicants must submit a creative manuscript and a “Statement of Interest,” which includes the creative manuscript title, author’s enrollment status and the name of college or university attended, and an email address and telephone number for the department head of the student’s program of study or academic advisor. Prose manuscripts may consist of one short story, a novel excerpt or a work of creative nonfiction not to exceed 25 double-spaced pages using a 12-point font. Poetry manuscripts may include up to five poems, formatted in accordance with standard poetry conventions using a 12-point font. The author’s name should not appear on the creative manuscript. Please number all pages of the manuscript and include the manuscript title. Submit all entries via Submittable.

Judging: Honorees will be selected blind on the basis of the work’s creative merit by a judging panel made of authors and poets, including Rumaan Alam, Rachel Lyon, and Robin Beth Schaer.

Rumaan Alam is the author of the novels Rich and Pretty (HarperCollins 2016) and That Kind of Mother (HarperCollins 2018). His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and elsewhere.

Rachel Lyon is the author of Self-Portrait with Boy (Scribner 2018), which was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and which is currently in feature film development at Topic Studios. Rachel's shorter work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in One Story, Longreads, Electric Literature's Recommended Reading, and other publications. A co-founder of the reading series Ditmas Lit, she has taught for Catapult, Sackett Street Writers Workshop, Slice Literary, and elsewhere. Subscribe to Rachel's Writing/Thinking Prompts newsletter at, and visit her at

Robin Beth Schaer is a poet and essayist. She is the author of the poetry collection Shipbreaking (Anhinga 2015). Her writing has appeared in Tin House, The Paris Review, and Guernica, among others. Her recent awards include fellowships from Yaddo and MacDowell. She teaches writing at the College of Wooster in Ohio.

Fee: The entry fee of $10 can be paid via Submittable to subsidize administrative costs associated with the application review.

Deadline: Entries must be received by July 15.

Epiphany is a nonprofit literary journal published in print twice per year. They are interested in risk-taking work, and though they’ve published well-established or fast-rising writers like Elena Ferrante, Rae Armantrout, Ed Hirsch, Lydia Davis, and Jamel Brinkley, they are especially open to writers whose explorations of new territory may not yet have found validation elsewhere. In the first year of the PEN/Robert J. Dau Prize for Debut Fiction, a story from the journal, “The Message” by Ruth Serven, was awarded the honor, as was Pingmei Lan’s “Cicadas and the Dead Chairman” this past March.

The Authors Guild Foundation is the charitable and educational arm of the Authors Guild. It educates, supports, and protects American writers to ensure that a rich, diverse body of literature can flourish. It does this by advocating for authors’ rights, educating authors across the country in the business of writing, and promoting an understanding of the value of writers.